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Compare the representations of Frankenstein in Branagh’s Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and the 1931 film Frankenstein directed by James Whale Language- 1931: Camera – Close ups are not used on Frankenstein as Branagh wants people to wonder what he looks like. There are lots of pans to show the set and the people there. There is a close up on the monsters hand when it is twitching. There aren’t many edits which makes it boring and not very interesting. Sound – Diegetic sound is the machines, Frankenstein shouting, noise of the monster being taken up.
Non-diegetic sound is the thunder; there is no music at all in the extract. Mise-en-scene – Henry Frankenstein is wearing a lab coat/straight jacket, which gives the impression that he is crazy. He has slicked back hair using hair oil. The acting style is very over the top, like theatrical acting. Frankenstein is side lit, to make him look scared and horrified. Overall the lighting is mostly by top lights and sometimes the lightening. 1994: Camera – There are lots of frantic zooms, pans and also up and down shots, which makes the audience intimidated.
The camera follows Frankenstein and shows his emotions/feelings. The edits are very fast and unnoticeable, using cuts and jump cuts. By making the editing quicker, this builds up the tension. Sound – Diegetic sound are the chains, machines moving, bangs, slots into the body, the electricity sparks and also Frankenstein’s voice and movements. Non – diegetic sound is the dramatic theme music, building up to create much more tension. Mise-en-scene – Victor Frankenstein is dressed in trousers but with no top. However the monster is naked.
Frankenstein’s hair is shoulder length, which is very messy and sweaty. The acting style is exciting and energetic but not mad. Frankenstein is mainly lit on his upper body. There are lots of side lights and candle light, however the room looks dark. Institutions – 1931: In black and white. Universal studios made the film, as they knew horror would be a big money spinner. It was voted one of the best films of the year by New York Times. 1994: It wasn’t as brand new as it was in 1931, as in 1994 many horror films had been out.
The technology was much more advanced and a lot had changed from 1931, new ideas and there was a new effect on people. Audience – 1931: The big actor, Boris Karloff was used to attract the audiences. People in 1931 were different to 1994, as it was all fresh and new to them. Cinema was a get away for people. Frankenstein was a big horror, and scared the audiences of its day. The monster, which was thought as Frankenstein became a big horror icon, with a built up brow and a bolt through his neck. 1994:
Kenneth Branagh and Robert de Niro were used to attract audiences. Horror films were the norm to people in 1994. They were a lot more sophisticated. Money was much more wide-spread in 1994 but wasn’t as much in 1931. Representation – 1931: Frankenstein was dressed very much like a man in 1931. His movements, delivery of the lines and his acting style is all over the top, like in the way of a theatre play. The light is normally based on the monster and when it’s on Frankenstein, the light would be on his upper body.
The 1931 film changes Frankenstein’s name to Henry, rather than Victor The audience are supposed to react to Frankenstein in a scary way and that he comes across very mad. 1994: Frankenstein dresses and looks very much like a man of the time that the novel was written. His movements and acting style is energetic and exciting however doesn’t come across at all mad. The light is mainly based on Frankenstein’s upper body; the rest of the room is very dark. The music interprets Frankenstein very well, as he is running around being busy.
The music is a fast, dramatic orchestra. Frankenstein’s name stays the same as the novel, which is Victor. The audience are supposed to think that Frankenstein is very involved with his work and wants to get it done to see the result.